One area both Hawkins and Grohl feel digital recording is lacking is when it comes to the sounds of the drums. “There’s a plasticness to digital recording, and a lot of that comes from the drums. That’s the thing that changes the most — the sound of the kit,” observes Hawkins. “When you listen to a Zeppelin record, you can hear the toms and every mike, even if there were only three mikes on those drums.”
Adds Grohl, “ As a drummer growing up listening to punk rock records, Zeppelin records, or Who records, I had favorite drummers, because every one of them had their own personality and character. It was like a fingerprint. You knew their feel, and their personality was rooted in their imperfections. So why not celebrate that? There’s something about the tone and sound of the tracks on Wasting Light that has the character of my garage. And the drum sound is exactly the way it sounded in the garage.”
Hawkins knows why it goes even further than that. “It’s taken a while for the sound of this band with me playing drums, and not Dave, to totally develop. You heard it a little bit on past records, but because this one’s on tape and there was no Pro Tools, it really sounds like what our band sounds like, good or bad.”
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